It’s pretty likely you’ve dished out a lump of your savings to buy your flights to Bangkok so you wouldn’t mind saving a few baht while you’re here. Luckily for you, there are tons of things to see and do around the Thai capital that are completely free. Here’s our guide.
Sights and museums
Bangkok Folk Museum – Colourful exhibits bring to life what it was like to be Thai during WWII and afterwards. It’s one of Bangkok’s best free museums and a great introduction to Thai culture if it’s your first time visiting. (Soi Charoen Krung 43)
Royal Elephant Museum – In Thai culture, albinism is extremely auspicious so any and all white elephants born in Thailand are considered royal property. There are two stables for white elephants at Dusit Palace and the nearby museum illuminates the importance of elephants in Thai culture and some of the country’s most famous white elephants. (Th Ratchawithi)
Bangkok Art & Culture Centre – This complex only a couple years ago and is already a staple on the arts circuit in the city. It’s located right next to Siam Sky Train Station and is free, with constantly changing exhibitions featuring Thai and international artists.
Erawan Shrine – Located next to the Chidlom Sky Train Station, this is one of the city’s most popular religious sites where you can see traditional Thai dancing girls and pray to the Hindu deity Phra Phrom. It’s custom for girls to ask for happiness in romance when they visit this shrine.
Temples – Most all of Bangkok’s temples are open to the public and free to visit. You can find one on practically every other street corner. It’s the perfect chance to learn something new about Buddhist art and culture. Try Wat Mangkorn Kamalawat in Chinatown, Wat Indraviharn in Dusit and Wat Patum in Wanaran.
Parks, gardens and nature
Bangkok has some really gorgeous city parks. They are clean with lakes, walking trails, gardens and even some takraw and muay thai matches going on. Need some inspiration on which parks to visit? Try Lumphini Park, Chatuchak Park, Sanam Luang and Queen Sirkit Park.
If you find yourself strolling around Queen Sirkit Park, then don’t miss the botanical gardens which are home to more than 500 butterflies and other creatures. Remember to wear bright clothing, the butterflies are attracted to colour and are more likely to land on you for some great photos.
Out and about in Bangkok
Bangkok is a photographer’s paradise. There are few cities with such contrasts between modern and old, Thai and Western, religious and non-religious. At any given moment in Bangkok you can find saffron-robed monks, beaming street food vendors and even elephants plodding down streets.
Khao San Road – Backpackers will be familiar with this part of town but it’s also a fun spot to visit even if you’re not bunking up at Bangkok hostel here.
Chinatown – This is the world’s largest Chinatown and is brimming with gold shops, street vendors, textiles markets, Chinese medicine shops and just about everything else you can imagine. It’s a must visit.
Like to travel for free? We’ve created 30+ free city guides on the Traveller’s Blog from Venice to Vancouver, Paris to Hong Kong, Washington DC to New York and beyond.